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What we learned at Google Cloud Next '17

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Author photo: Copper Staff

Copper Staff

Contributors from members of the Copper team

Last week, cloud enthusiasts from around the world attended Google Cloud Next 2017. Throughout the three-day conference, attendees explored the latest cloud-enabled tech and networked with partners.

According to Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure, Urs Hölzle, Google Cloud services touch one billion end users every day. Here are some of the biggest takeaways Google Cloud Next presented during the 200+ sessions, with over 10,000 Googlers, System admins, IT decision makers, developers, partners in attendance.

More money dedicated to infrastructure

Last week, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt announced that they invested over $30 billion in building the cloud infrastructure. Part of this is attributed to Google’s ambition to expand its global footprint. Three new GCP regions - California (3 availability zones), Montreal (3), and Netherlands (3) - are immediately available to customers, and many new regions including Sydney, Mumbai, Singapore, and London are expected to go live this year.

In total, Google’s Cloud will have over 15 regions and 30 zones before the end of this year. As stated by Forbes, “the company claims that customers run their workloads on the same infrastructure that allows Google to return billions of search results in milliseconds, serve 6 billion hours of YouTube video per month and provide storage for 1 Billion Gmail users.”

Improvements to business collaboration tools, with a focus on G Suite

As Google increases its infrastructure, executives also touted a handful of improvements to their business collaboration tools. This included team-based storage drives, new governance controls for Drive content, and improvements to the Hangouts experience.

Looking closer at the communication platform, Google announced they are splitting Hangouts into two: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.

The new Hangouts Chat is all about team messaging. The application, which will be available on Android, iOS and the web, will offer rooms in an effort to streamline textual communication. As seen on the Google Blog:

“Chat is built not only to reflect the way teams work but to provide a platform for the enterprise tools they work with. The Hangouts Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities — from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script — and integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation. Some companies we’re teaming up with to build out the platform include: Asana, Box, Copper (hey, that’s us!) and Zendesk. And to make workflows even easier, Chat features @meet, an intelligent bot built on top of the Hangouts platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings for your team.”

In The Future of the Meeting Room, Scott Johnston and Serge Lachapelle addressed the pain points associated with today’s conference calls. “One of the biggest things talking to our G Suite customers about Hangouts meetings is just how people are spending so much time on getting into the meetings,” Johnston said. “We’re a big supporter of automating the full meeting life cycle from agenda to follow-ups. But meeting value today is destroyed by time-to-start. It takes so long to simply get started.”

In turn, Hangouts Meet is taking the friction out of video conferencing systems. Native, full-screen presenting makes it easy to showcase team projects and direct integrations with G Suite pulls important meeting information straight from Calendar. Meetings can even come with a dedicated dial-in phone number so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings, despite wi-fi or data issues.

In the world of Gmail, Google is adding support for third-party add-ons that can integrate directly into the service - without the use of a browser extension.

With this new capability, users will be able to install these add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace -- the same marketplace that already hosts add-ons for Google’s other productivity tools. Users who install one of these new add-ons will be able to use them on the web and in Google’s mobile Gmail apps.

For the team at Copper, it was an amazing experience working with Google on trialing this feature! You can watch a demo of this new way of integrating Copper into Gmail in the video below.

Partnering with proven leaders

Google is constantly working to diversify its ecosystem of cloud business partners. At Google Cloud Next, the company made a slew of announcements involving independent software vendors and global system integrators - and we were honored to take part!

Along with mentions in “Close the deal with G Suite: empowering sales teams” and “New Google Docs Integrations to Streamline your Workflows," (more Google Docs tips here), Copper was among the presenters in “Integrate and Automate with G Suite Marketplace Apps.”

All in all, we were thrilled to participate in Google Cloud Next ‘17 and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Google team. Check out Google’s blog post outlining "100 announcements from Google Cloud Next '17" and posted keynote and session videos on Youtube.

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